The Getty Center, contrary to the Getty Villa, is huge! I feel like I could have explored all day and still have missed a bunch of exhibitions, displays, and galleries. The museum is built on the top of a hill, so it provided stunning views of LA and the ocean. A tram took us from the parking level to the museum campus. That made it feel all the more exclusive.
We started off by taking a tour of the highlights of the museum. I have never know how I feel about tours. They are so informative and I learn so much from them, but I always want to explore on my own, too. But this one was interesting, seeing as how it chose highlights from each room and discussed them with the group.
One of the most interesting pieces the tour spoke of was one that I had studied in an art course I took in college. It’s called Hunting on the Lagoon by Vittore Carpaccio. According to scholars, it served as a decorative piece like a shutter or room divider. It’s a simple view of people fishing on a lagoon. But scholars noticed that there is a small flower on the bottom edge of the painting that seemed out of scale with the background. This is because the painting was originally a larger piece, but was cut in half centuries ago and now the top half is on display at the Getty. The painting could easily stand alone as this piece of art, but when you compare the original bottom portion of the art (displayed in Venice) it seems more whole. This piece of art was painted on wood, and also has an image painted on the back side, showing that is really was intended to be decorative in a room where a viewer could see both sides.
Along other famous works of art, the Getty had on display a Picasso, Renoir, and others. There was a Renoir painting I really liked too called La Promenade. Impressionism is one of my favorite eras of art.
There was also a large room designed to be a replica of a sitting room in the 18th century. Everything was so ornate. While most of it was replicated, a lot of the pieces in there were original. It really shows you what kind of life people led back then! Very decorative and lovely.
One of the current exhibitions features manuscripts and highlights the production of them. I had no idea how much detail went into making huge tomes that have survived this long. These books were written, painted, detailed, and bound all by hand. Their website features many of these interesting facts.
And of course, the grounds had beautiful gardens to walk around in. One section of it was called a “sound garden,” because the waterfall that trickled had rocks specifically positioned to bounce sound off of. So it sounded very pretty to walk around.
I was inspired by the large garden and paintings of gardens. Here is the short piece of fiction.
These photos were taken with my phone, so pardon the quality!